Spain: Catalonians head to church to put fate of referendum in God's hands

Worshippers gathered at the Basilica of Santa Maria del Pi, in Barcelona, on Saturday, to hold a service for the upcoming independence referendum, which is set to take place on October 1. The sermon was held after Catholic religious leaders called for a special morning of reflection and prayer. An Estelada flag was placed on the altar of the church and an acoustic musical performance marked the... Еще event. Priest and organiser of the gathering, Cinto Busquet, said that despite the «incapacity of the Spanish government to face a political problem,» people will take part in the referendum and cast their vote. Busquet explained that «the Church has had a very special role» throughout Spain's Catholic history and added that Pope Francis should invite all Catalonians «to [stand] together with our people.» Earlier in the month, some 400 priests and 40 deacons from ten Catalonian dioceses and congregations signed a statement in support of the independence referendum, which was then sent to the Pope. The referendum has caused divisions within the Church as some priests back the vote, while others maintained a distance from the secessionist movement. A group of 22 priests who are promoting the declaration called for the morning of prayer in the Barcelonan Basilica.

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